Earth Log

Feds put up $100,000 to help residents replace wells

The federal government is sending the drought-plagued San Joaquin Valley a little more money to help people who have no water because their private wells have gone dry. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture put up $100,000, which of Visalia is providing for people as low-interest loans, according to Susan Atkins, program director for housing rehabilitation at the nonprofit organization.

The federal government is sending the drought-plagued San Joaquin Valley a little more money to help people who have no water because their private wells have gone dry.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture put up $100,000, which Self-Help Enterprises of Visalia is providing for people as low-interest loans, according to Susan Atkins, program director for housing rehabilitation at the nonprofit organization.

Self-Help, established in 1965, works with low-income residents on housing, sewer and water services. The organization has a waiting list for the USDA money, Atkins said.

"We have 18 to 20 people who need help," she said. "We can provide up to $11,000 at 1% interest for 20 years."

Many private well owners have been falling through the bureaucratic cracks in the government's emergency safety net this summer. They must have a limited income to qualify for the loans, and many simply do not fit the criteria.

For information, call Self-Help Enterprises, (559) 651-1000.

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